Seabrook hit

NHL suspends Seabrook three games for charging into Backes


Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook high and late hit on David Backes has cost his team dearly. Down 2-0 in the series, Chicago will have to fight its way back without his help after he was assessed a three-game suspension for his actions.

That’s on top of Seabrook’s check arguably costing Chicago Saturday’s game.

Chicago had a 3-2 lead at 15:09 of the third period when Seabrook was assessed a five-minute major. St. Louis forward Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game on the resulting power play en route to a 4-3 overtime win that put the Blues up 2-0 in the series.

The NHL determined that Seabrook had enough time to avoid the check after Backes skated by the puck, but instead he “delivered a violent blow that causes the defenseless Backes to crash dangerously into the boards.”

Seabrook hadn’t previously been fined or suspended, which presumably worked in his favor, but the NHL also factored in that Backes suffered an injury.

It remains to be seen whether Backes will be available for Game 3.

“I have no idea … I have no idea right now,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said on Sunday, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I know one thing: he couldn’t play today.”

You can watch the suspension video below:


Seabrook: ‘I was just trying to make a play on Backes’

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.